Another year-end list.

I can’t help myself. I’m going to list all the books I read. You don’t have to read it, but it might give you some ammo for giving me a hard time about bad stuff I read.

Items with a * were read for book club, thereby rendering them unavailable for teasing since I didn’t choose them.

Here we go! Continue reading


I came to the conclusion today that part of the joy of giving is not just in watching someone open the gift. It is also in telling them the story of the gift. It’s the story of how my brother heard I didn’t have a Crock Pot with a timer on it, and he wondered how such a thing is possible, so he bought me a new Crock Pot. It’s the story of how my sisters couldn’t decide which Disney Princess cape to get for my daughter, but eventually decided on the blue one with white faux fur trim. It’s the story of how Michael really wanted to get me the black iDog, but he only found a single one in the entire city and it was white. And somehow, hearing the story of why the giver chose that particular gift, makes it that much more special. As much as I love gift cards, there just really can’t be a great story to go with a gift card.

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

The Polysyllabic SpreeI can’t remember where I saw something that made me think I would like this book, but I decided to request it from the library. I was pleased to find it’s a series of essay Hornby wrote for the Believer magazine in 2003-4. He is really funny and says interesting things about what he’s reading. He also pokes a little fun at the editors of The Believer. They are the Polysyllaic Spree. The number of white-robed members of this committee changes every time it’s mentioned: 12, 99, 84. Whatever.

Self-Righteous Post

Unlike some other bloggers, I will not be taking a blog break over the holidays. I could say that this is because I am so dedicated to my tens of dedicated readers, but we all know that’s a load of horse hooey. It’s because I have no life and am not going anywhere very taxing this Christmas, and let’s face it. It’s not like I blog all that terribly often, anyway.

Today, I slept in a little. Then I got out and took a walk with my new iPod. Bliss! I made brunch when I got back, and then started the first of the 3-part process of making sugar cookies for Santa. My kids helped. We watched It’s Christmastime, Again, Charlie Brown together. I took a small nap. We did part 2 of the cookies. Then I napped again. Then we did part 3. Now the kids are engrossed in some new learning software we pulled out for the computer. Yay!

Tomorrow all hell will break loose in a big way. We start with a regular day of teaching 8th grade Sunday School and going to church. Then, we’ll hightail it over to the next town to have Christmas with Michael’s family. At 2:30, we’ll hightail it back because my kids really, really, really want to go to the children’s interactive Christmas Eve service at the church. Then I have to be at the next 2 grown up Christmas Eve services at 5:00 and 7:00 because the dancers I direct are dancing. I get a break from about 8:00 to about 10:00 to come home and get two wiggling, excited kids to bed (ha!). Then, I’m back up to the church so the girls can dance in the 11:00 service. I usually get home between 12:30 and 1:00.

On Monday, the kids will have us up at an ungodly hour to open presents. Then we’ll go to my parents’ house for their Christmas and a Christmas brunch. When we get home, I’ll cook our Christmas dinner. It’s going to be so much fun!

In a completely unrelated story: Michael shaved off his goatee and moustache today. (Not that any of you know what he looked like anyway, but this is news to me.) He’s gone from looking like a member of a hardcore thrash metal band, to a member of an early 90′s glam metal band, which is really more up my alley anyway. Think Nuno Bettancourt as opposed to James Hetfield.

Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd

The Lambs of London: A NovelI found this book on the New Books Shelf at work and got it because someone on some blog somewhere raved about it.

So, it was a pretty good book. A pretty fast read. But it wasn’t really about Charles and Mary Lamb. It was more about her friend William Ireland, wasn’t it? And about how he forged a bunch of Shakespeare stuff because his father thought he would never amount to anything. I liked the end, though. Crazy people are always interesting.

Crazy long music survey

LARGE music survey
Favorites – X the ones you like
The point is, if you have even one song by any of these artists on your ipod, mark X
As you know, there are a thousand more artists to put but I couldn’t possibly spend my time naming anymore than this. I was only able to put recognizable and known bands but it’s still pretty good. At first, I separated artists by genre but it got WAY too hard so I just listed them alphabetically.

And dude, it’s seriously long. Continue reading

Wikipedia Meme

From Being Me.

1. Go to Wikipedia
2. In the search box, type your birth month and day (but not year)
3. Choose 3 events that happened on your birthday
4. Choose 2 important births and 1 interesting death
5. Post it!

Me (and JoanneMarie) = November 6.

1860: Abraham Lincoln elected to office.
1975: The Sex Pistols play their first concert.
2001: Winona Ryder convicted of shoplifting.

1970: Ethan Hawke
1972: Rebecca Romijn

1893: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Who’s next?

But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn

But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl\'s Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous This was a fun book. In alternating chapters, Dunn gives tips on how to conduct an interview with fabulously famous people, and tells her life’s story. She is a Rolling Stone reporter and was a VJ on MTV2. The writing is really hilarious and she tells lots of fun anecdotes about interviews with famous people.

Holy Smokes! I’ve been tagged!

Thank you to Beth at BooksEtc.

5 things no one knows about me. I don’t think there are 5 things no one knows about me. Let’s see.

1. I really hate diet and exercise, but I also really hate being fat. What happened to those high school days when I could eat pizza, a kit kat and a coke everyday for lunch and still be rail thin?

2. I really like my job, but I hate going to work. I hate getting up and getting presentable and leaving the house. But once I’m there, it’s all good.

3. I am terrified that some horrible thing I’ve done as a parent will have my kids ending up in rehab.

4. I like the smell of bus exhaust. Not right up close or anything, but just, you know, busy city smell.

5. I play the piano (badly) for the church youth choir and I am certain I give the director high blood pressure because I miss notes, change tempo, and freeze up in performance. The only reason they still have me is because no one else will do it. sigh

So there you have it. 5 things people wish they still didn’t know about me.

Here’s a question.

So yesterday I had the heater repair man over to fix our heater. He came in, greeted the dog, and I showed him to the heater in question. Then I didn’t know what to do. Do I sit around in the room with no comfy chairs and watch him work (as if I have any idea what he’s doing)? Do I go away with my daughter to another part of the house? I really needed a nap, I almost fell asleep. I don’t want the guy to think I’m standing over him because I don’t trust him. I don’t want him to think I’m rude for not entertaining him while he is a guest in my house. I don’t want my daughter to be in his way.

What’s the protocol on this? Anyone?

Desolation Island by Patrick O’Brian

Desolation IslandI like to leave long gaps between reading these books because it is so enjoyable to remember how subtle O’Brian’s humor is. It’s so wonderful. If you aren’t paying attention, you might just miss that that paragraph is ironic.

So anyway, Aubrey and Maturin are off again. On a voyage to Botany Bay where they are to meet up with Captain Bligh (you remember him. The poor captain of the Bounty. The one all the sailors mutinied on. That’s the fella. He went on to Australia to be a Very Important Person.) And since they’re going to Australia anyway, how about taking along this prisoners we’re deporting? One of which is being transported for being an American spy. This interests Dr. Maturin very much because of his “moonlighting career”, if you know what I mean. If you don’t, you should read the series.

One complaint: you don’t even hear the name Desolation Island until the last 100 pages of the book when Jack decides to try to find it to fix a damaged ship. And at the end of the book, they’re not even off the Island. Oh, alright. I guess all the loose ends got tied up and the basic plot of the book got completed, but when the book starts out with the destination being Botany Bay, it doesn’t feel like it’s over until they get there. I know this is petty and unsportsmanlike. I know I should have figured out that Desolation Island is the REAL destination based on the title, regardless of what the plot says.

Anyway, it was still a funny, exciting, interesting book. I have yet to be disappointed in a book in this series; misleading plots and all.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that this is book 2 for the From The Stacks challenge!